MCPS Graduation Rate Remains High; Outperforms State

January 31, 2018

The graduation rate for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) remains steady at nearly 90 percent and is significantly higher than the State of Maryland public school average.

The four-year cohort graduation rate for the 2016-2017 school year is 89.5 percent, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) on Tuesday (January 30, 2018). While this is a slight decrease of 0.3 percentage points from the previous year, the district’s four-year cohort graduation rate has remained steady at nearly 90 percent over the past three years.

“Montgomery County Public Schools continues to outperform public schools across the state and our high graduation rate is a testament to the hard work of our students, the commitment of our staff, and strong support from the community,” said Michael Durso, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “We remain committed to our efforts to ensure that 100 percent of our students graduate with the skills and knowledge they will need to excel in college or careers.”

The four-year graduation rate has improved for several student subgroups in MCPS. For instance, the MCPS graduation rate for African American students rose to 88.2 percent, a one-year increase of 0.5 percentage points and a three-year increase of 1.8 percentage points. The graduation rate for students receiving Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARMS) has increased by 0.9 percentage points over the past three years.

We are proud of the progress we’ve made in closing gaps and maintaining one of the highest graduation rate in the state,” said Superintendent Jack R. Smith. “We will continue to equip our school leaders with the resources and tools they need to identify areas for improvement and truly meet the individual needs of every student.”

One of the challenges MCPS faces is a significant increase in the number of students with limited English proficiency (LEP) enrolling in the system during high school.  The 300% increase between 2014 and 2017 has affected graduation outcomes for this subgroup.   

“We are concerned about the decline in graduation rates for LEP students,” stated Smith.  We are committed to making investments in the resources an opportunities theses students need to meet their full potential.” Some of the factors the district is evaluating include the length of time the students have been enrolled in MCPS, students’ ages, and the level of English for Speakers of Other Languages services they are receiving at the time they drop out.

“There is still much work to be done to ensure all of our students graduate on time ready for college and the workforce,” stated Dr. Smith.

School Results

Among the highlights of school performance:

-Fourteen high schools have seen their graduation rates increase over the past three years, with the largest increases at Seneca Valley (3.0 percentage points) Springbrook (2.7 points), Richard Montgomery (2.4 points), and Northwest (2.2 points).

-The highest graduation rates are at Walt Whitman (97.9 percent), Thomas S. Wootton (97.8 percent), Winston Churchill (97.4 percent), Poolesville (96.2 percent),Walter Johnson (95.8 percent), and Quince Orchard (95.6 percent) high schools.


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